I was cleaning out my torrents folder (ahh, feels so good to drop almost 1.5 TB from my second HD) and found a folder called “Anitore!EX” that I don’t remember getting. So I watched the first ep and it was 4 minutes of a girl (who could be anywhere from 11 to 19, because anime) talking excitedly and encouragingly to the audience about how to do pushups and crunches, and wanting to eat ice cream. Plenty of close-ups of her butt, belly, and legs throughout because no show in Japan has a hope in hell of selling if you don’t add boatloads of fanservice.
Here’s the entire first episode and you can easily find the rest (and Anitore!XX, its sequel) on YouTube and/or yarr:
Try not to cringe too hard at the poor thing struggling with half-rep pushups, “those are NOT crunches, dammit!”, “I have earned 600 calories of ice cream after my 20-calorie-burning ‘workout’”, a cutesy little song about doing your cardio, and of course the… ah… see, I’ve watched over 200 anime series so I am entirely numb to all but the worst fanservice (it takes full-frontal nudity for me to go “oh god damn it, Japan”), so what I *shrug* at would probably evoke for the rest of you, as SFDebris put it in his review of Mahromantic, “Jesus fucking Chriiiist… CAN I JUST GET THROUGH AN ANIME WITHOUT WORRYING I’M GOING TO JAIL JUST FOR WATCHING IT?!”
First 12 episodes finished in just under 50 minutes. Oh, after I finished watching I looked it up and this show’s name translates to something like “the training anime” and its plot synopsis is “”Move your soul and body!” Each episode contains a variety of routines, such as push-ups, sit-ups, spine twists, dance, yoga, stretches, trunk training, and taichi. Five girls aiming to become idols will exercise with you, and that troubling body fat percentage will go down by 1000%…!?”. Maybe I downloaded because each episode was four minutes and its theme (exercise) was relevant to my interests. Anyway, episode synopses:
1] As above: introduces Asami (brown eyes, short brown hair, personality of a peppy cheerleader) who teaches push-ups and “crunches”.
2] A new girl: the bright-blue-eyed, blonde-haired (twin ponytails), bratty & bossy half-pint Eri. First she teaches a weird variant of the push-up which looks like you stick your butt in the air and hump the ground and go back up. Looks difficult and painful for the spine, not recommended if you don’t weigh roughly 85 lbs like Eri apparently does. The second is the reverse pushup using a chair:
As a standard tsundere she often brags, yells at the audience (especially when the camera zooms in on her: “Oh you’d LOVE to see me in that bikini wouldn’t you?!” “W-WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT, PERVERT!?”) but you can totally tell she doesn’t mean it and is just covering up how shy she is.
Also, like in almost every anime featuring an all (or mostly all) female cast, she happens to be very insecure about having small breasts. I guess the Japanese think that’s cute or something, I dunno.
3] Introducing Shizuno: azure eyes and long raven hair, tall and… mature. Also that silky, MILFy ara–ara voice that doesn’t make me weak in the knees, dammit. They show her behaving as a proper lady and a motherly maid, and she’s chill and a total sweetheart as you’ll see here and in later episodes.
First she teaches the basic bodyweight squat — not to parallel, though it’s hard to tell if you’re hypnotized by the jiggle-jiggle every time she goes up and down.
(Almost posted another screenshot, but that camera-angle from below would make this post even more NSFW that it already is with her ample cleavage.)
Also while squatting she’s chatting about how she loves cooking high-protein meals.
Next she teaches back extensions which look almost identical to Scooby’s supermans: “This will help fix your posture. I’m looking to become an elegant-looking woman. [wink]” During you meet her pet ferret named Andalucia who loves crawling down the front of her shirt while she’s panting and sweaty. And afterwards the audience is treated to her home cooking.
I-I didn’t look up hentai doujins of her or anything. B-baka. Next!
4] Episode 4 begins in a dark room full of burning candles, spooky piano and pipe organ music, and a blue-and-green-eyed, long-purple-haired, gothy chuunibyou named Shion, “a fallen angel from the Dark World of Shadows” who “shall seduce this world into despair and chaos”. She first wants to teach the viewer yoga, the bow pose, or as she puts it, “Let us perform the heathen Dance of the Void and open the Gates of Hades” and she begins by instructing the viewer to “give heed to the voices of the abyss, and the gates shall open”.
It looks a lot less difficult than the upcoming “Dance of the Wicked”.
Don’t worry she breaks character at times (like she forgot to put her color contact in, “hey! you’re supposed to say you can hear the demons whisper!”, the breaker tripped and ruined her glowy light show, also her real name is Akiko) and she gets all embarrassed about it and I am not madly in love with her shut up.
5] Now we’re back to Asami, wearing little doggie ears, informing the audience we’re going to do dance practice. By the way, every time the subtitles say “cardio” or “aerobics” you can hear them say “vital exercise” but Engrished up to “bital ehksasaizu” and it’s super adorable to hear. Then we see Shizuno wearing rabbit ears asking the audience to “do our best!” and then we see Eri in cat ears wanting to name their dance group “Eri and the Dancing Flowers” which everyone agrees is incredibly dorky. Oh, so at heart this show’s another idol anime. Ever since the one-two popularity punch of idolm@ster and Love Live! everybody wants a slice of that pie while it’s fresh and hot.
They start dancing and singing the same song from the ending credits, but after some moves Asami calls…
And then Shizuno…
I’m sure what everybody wants to grab is Shizuno’s hand, mmhm.
Shut up Eri. Or as the Japanese pronounce her name, “Eddy”. Because Japanese is an adorable language.
Anyway, for most the episode they repeat the same dance moves, teaching the audience their exact choreography as if they expect everyone watching to get up and dance and not stare at Shizuno’s floppy.. ears.
After confessing to the audience that she worries all the time about “little things” like hoping “tomorrow will be a sunny day” and then apologizing because “that sounded weird” and thereby inspiring most of the audience to give her a biiiig hug, she agrees with the audience that she “might sleep better if I exercise.” and starts with the back kick.
They haven’t forgotten their target audience and zoom in on her spats-clad rear while kicking. After that, she in a quiet, quavering voice admits that people keep calling her weird because she keeps doing absent-minded things like losing her glasses and freaking out when they’re on top of her head. Apparently the hidden self-insert character tells her that’s what makes her special, and she blushes furiously because “n-no one’s ever said that to me before”. You’d better whip out your glucometer after that insulin spike.
Next she teaches what she calls the reverse trunk twist, which looks almost exactly what Joe DeFranco calls the iron cross. (#4 of his Limber 11 flexibility routine.) While doing so she thanks the audience for telling her she isn’t weird.
One thing they do now and then in this show is make it look like the characters are directly interacting with “you”, like seen here where she hands “you” her glasses because she’s an absent-minded dork who was about to fall asleep in them:
Or back in ep 2, “you” hand Eri a towel:
Or later in ep 9, after Eri and Shizuno show how to do a particularly painful-looking stretching exercise:
“You” are invited to try:
Never seen this “you are actually in-show with them” kind of thing before. Pretty interesting.
7] The audience.. you know what, I’m just gonna say you. Anyway, you are invited to Asami’s room with Eri. And everyone’s gonna do “tough push-ups and squats! Don’t give up!” While the two girls are arguing over the topic of rivalry, you are comparing… and then:
Just in case you forgot. But then they show clapping pushups, which looks pretty hard if you don’t weigh 85 lbs. Then while “helping” Eri exposes her hypocrisy:
Because in anime-land, if one’s boobs are a significant personality trait regardless of her own bust size, she is almost certainly herself breast-obsessed:
This is completely normal in the bizarro world of Japanese cartoons. Then we return to our regularly scheduled programming with Hindu squats, but before instructions Eri again throws a fit thinking someone’s making fun of her chest and Asami shows her photos of when she was Eri’s age to make her feel better, then suggests plenty of exercise and to not be a picky eater. How nice. Then we get to instructions on doing Hindu squats, but then they have to beat you over the head with the boobs thing one last time:
And episode mercifully ends.
8] We’re back to more dance instructions, only now with Asami, Yuu, and… and Shion/Akiko!
We’re off to a great start. But because this is another dance-instruction episode, there’s nothing really to add here that I didn’t already about 5. Except we have Yuu’s super-shyness and Akiko’s– Shion’s insanity. Apparently Shion’s spirit-animal is a fox, and Yuu is a bear. Huh.
How do people like her make friends IRL? My guess is they don’t and just post on sites like /tg/, The RPG Site, and The Gaming Den cussing people out over disagreements like whether or not a rogue in Dungeons & Dragons can or cannot make sneak attacks with flasks of acid or alchemical flame. Personally I don’t see why not: what would hurt you more for real: a glass bottle full of acid shattered on your chest, or in your eyes? (Assuming someone is skilled enough for such a precision throw — and if the D&D rogue isn’t about skill, underhanded tactics, and dirty, sneaky fighting, what is he good for?)
But anyway, go watch this episode for her interactions with Yuu and Asami which are so fun.
9] As established before this is a pool episode. With Shizuno. Hubba hubba.
But wait, don’t forget about–
Hopefully you didn’t also forget that one stretch I posted earlier because I’m too lazy to say it again. The next one, though? Looks like a back-breaker:
And yes, you get to do that with Shizuno, and no I’m not sharing that screenshot because I don’t want my blog b& for posting softcore porn. Shortly thereafter Eri whines more but Shizuno responds with…
I told you she was a sweetheart. There’s plenty more perfect wife material down the road.
Episode ends with Andalucia tearing off Shizuno’s top and swimming away with it. They don’t show anything. Sniffle.
10] Now we go to a gym with Asami and Yuu and get taught how to use various machines.
Why do they add the word “cross” to random gym things? Another example is my treadmill isn’t called a treadmill, but a cross-walk. Is it to capitalize on Crossfit? Is it because cross sounds cool?
Then Asami mentions that many kinds of people come to the gym and she likes the atmosphere, and is shown happily greeting some of them while the painfully-shy Yuu looks on with awe.
Related to this, she tells Asami that once again has a lot on her mind, like how to make more friends and how she can stop being shy around strangers. But then she says these are petty worries and she now knows what to do: be more like Asami, which surprises her but then she’s asked how to use more of the machines, which cuts us to leg press.
This episode makes sure you never forget Asami has nice hammies, a common main girl trait along with “chatty”, “cute and pretty but not overly so”, “can-do attitude”, and “almost always A to B cup, rarely C++ like the best programming language”. Watch as much anime as I have, and you’ll naturally notice such trends and patterns. Anyway, about here Yuu asks her if anything troubles her too, and Asami emphatically says yes. Things like “what’s for dinner?” or “what if I take the wrong train home?”
While you’re enjoying that sugar rush, we get to the Good Girl, Bad Girl machines for a “butt lift”:
Speaking of butts we finish the episode with the two cooling-down with Bosu balls while the episode again cheerfully zooms in on Asami’s assets before the clumsy Yuu falls over and Asami gets a little giggle in as payback for earlier.
BRB wedding ring.
This episode Miss Demoness shows us how to train the core with Tai Chi to a very Indian/Arabic tune.
Even if you don’t know either language, watch for 10 seconds to see her break character because she’s overjoyed Eri remembers to call her an angel of darkness.
Yuu isn’t nearly as good at it. But a bit later, out of the blue, she asks Eri why she’s doing all this:
She goes on to say she almost gave up, but then she joined a karaoke event and “I’ll never forget the smiles on everyone’s faces. At that moment, I decided to continue chasing my dream.” How adorable. Afterwards, more Tai Chi as directed by fallen angel Yohane– Shion. Because Shion isn’t a shameless ripoff of a much more popular character from a much more famous show:
The world (or at least my cravings) needed more roleplaying goth babes anyway. But at least Yoshiko realized she was being a dorklord and would have sadly turned her back on it had her friends (new and old) not gotten together to tell her to jus bee herslef xD:
As an aside from an aside, other than Maki’s pornographic smile on a few choice album covers (like Soldier Game), goth-Aquor’s is the sexiest thing in all of the Love Live! franchise:
If you watch Sunshine!! you’ll notice Chika (the ruby-eyed redhead with that stunningly beautiful smile) shares all of the above main-girl traits as Asami, not to mention her predecessor Honoka does too. But enough sidetracking about superior shows. In Anitore EX, Eri later asks Yuu if she has dreams, too:
“Yes, but I don’t have the kind of determination you do. I just kind of ended up here. That’s not very good, is it?”
I’m not retyping the whole conversation but Eri (I keep wanting to type Eli, especially since Japanese speakers pronounce both nearly identically) basically tells her that if she didn’t like it she would’ve quit already, and that she’s still here means she enjoys it, and furthermore she has a very calming smile that makes everyone feel at ease.
These kinds of anime should not be watched if you have a heart condition. It’s amazing Eri can be not-annoying at times–
…I suppose a lot of people like brats. Something for everyone. Speaking of, Asami and Shizuno arrive and instead of ending credits everybody turns to the camera:
12] The entirety of the last episode is a music video, and they invite you to dance along (guess this is what those instruction videos were for):
Other than the lyrics about exercise, as far as the song goes it’s your run-of-the-mill cheerful and energetic anime track. 3/5 stars if you’re into encouraging “Do your best! Good luck!” cutesy-peppy music.